Reviews of the 2024 Printz Award Winners


The Collectors: Stories
edited by A.S. King
High School    Dutton    272 pp.
9/23    9780593620281    $19.99

As King explains in an introduction, she asked nine fellow YA authors "to write me a story about a collection and its collector," and encouraged "weird" tales. The results include quite a few collections that go beyond what can be arranged on a shelf (a museum displays traumatic memories and influences; a demon collects humans frozen in time at moments they wished could last forever). Even collections that do consist mainly of objects figure into stories that approach the concept in creative ways (a collector of scripts from an old TV show finds that show's world is all too real; a collector of items stolen from others' collections is stymied by a collection of doubts). A good collection gets viewers thinking about its parameters — what is the definition of the thing being collected, and what are its limits? — and this quirky, varied collection does just that. The authors, an impressive collection themselves — including M. T. Anderson, King, Anna-Marie McLemore, Jason Reynolds — share what they themselves collect in appended contributor notes. SHOSHANA FLAX


Honor Books

Fire from the Sky
by Moa Backe Åstot; trans. from Swedish by Eva Apelqvist
High School    Em Querido/Levine Querido    216 pp.
10/23    9781646142484    $19.99








by Kenneth M. Cadow
High School    Candlewick    336 pp.
10/23    9781536231113    $17.99

Cadow immerses the reader in the life of narrator Ian in a leisurely paced story that intentionally zigzags and doubles back on itself, echoing a walk in the woods — appropriately, since the setting is a closely observed rural Vermont. High schooler Ian faces a host of challenges, including poverty, a mom struggling with substance abuse, an absent father, and the loss of his mentor grandfather. A stray dog he names Gather and the strong connections he gradually forges in his community and at school help Ian find his place in the world. A heartfelt coming-of-age novel. MARTHA V. PARRAVANO



The Girl I Am, Was, and Never Will Be: A Speculative Memoir of Transracial Adoption
by Shannon Gibney
High School    Dutton    256 pp.
1/23    9780593111994    $18.99







Salt the Water
by Candice Iloh
High School   Dutton    288 pp.
10/23    9780593529317    $18.99

In this novel written in immediate free verse, self-assured narrator Cerulean chafes at the constraints of high school and dreams of living "off the grid." Sensory-rich scenes of cooking with their loving, understanding family contrast with contentious school scenes, but when an accident has a major impact on their family life, demands from school and friends become too much to contend with. Their perspective is a thought-provoking one: which of the expectations we place on each other, and especially on young people, are reasonable, and which are arbitrary? Shifts in time and point of view leave Cerulean's story open-ended but hopeful. SHOSHANA FLAX

For more, click on the tag ALA LibLearnX 2024.

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